Every tourist who comes to Coorg, a hill town in the state of Karnataka, is told a visit to Bylakuppe, the second largest Tibetan settlement in India, is a must. When I was there over a long and wonderfully chilly weekend, I too was asked to do the same. But I didn’t think much of the idea. What would I even do in a sleepy town full of monks and monasteries? Yet, for lack of better options, I decided to drive down to the town. What I didn’t know at the time was that I would end up learning a precious lesson from this trip.
The 40-km drive from Virajpet to Bylakuppe was sunny and pleasant. As I entered Bylakuppe, I felt a palpable difference in the atmosphere. There were tourists everywhere–queuing up at the Tibetan restaurants and haggling in the shopping complexes–and yet, there was a peaceful energy that seemed to envelop the town. The sight of multi-coloured Tibetan flags and lines of maroon-clad monks made me feel like I had entered a whole other country.
Not only have the Tibetans lived peaceful, spiritual lives themselves, but have also preached the Buddhist values of oneness and wisdom to other people in the town.
Where there is inner peace, the chaos of the outer world automatically dissipates. Perhaps, this is the secret behind the monks’ admirable way of life.